Firefly head, SEM

Firefly head, SEM

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Credit: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Firefly head. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the head of a firefly (family Lampyridae), showing one of its large compound eyes (grey). These winged beetles, also known as lightning bugs, are named for their ability to flash their abdomens. This is achieved using an enzyme (luciferase) to oxidise a chemical in a chamber in the tip of its abdomen, and is known as bioluminescence. The firefly controls the flashes by regulating the amount of oxygen that enters the chamber. The flashes of light are used to attract mates. Magnification: x16 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.

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Keywords: abdomen, anatomical, anatomy, animal, animals, arthropod, arthropods, beetle, biological, biology, bioluminescence, bioluminescent, close-up, coleoptera, coleopteran, compound eye, cut out, cut outs, cut-out, cut-outs, cutout, cutouts, detail, fire-fly, firefly, glow-bug, glowbug, glowing, insect, insects, invertebrate, invertebrates, lampyridae, light, lightning bug, luciferase, nature, white background, wildlife, wing, winged, wings, zoological, zoology

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